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New world-class sportswear destination puts consciousness first

”I figured Stockholm really needed an experienced based retail concept to present the never ending fitness and outdoor movements”, says Marc Nylander. He now opens his new, +1500 m² store at Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm.

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Words: Johan Magnusson

Nylander comes from a retail family with 30 store openings on different locations with different concepts in and around Stockholm.

— We currently run The North Face’s concept store and working with such a big brand — which is on top in both the lifestyle industry as well as the outdoor industry — you get a lot of influence and great ideas from both worlds, he says, adding,

— With that in mind I figured Stockholm really needed an experienced based retail concept to present the never ending fitness and outdoor movements. The great stories around these brands and products do not really have a proper place to be told. Until now.

Tell us about the new NK Sport (NKSK) store.

— I believe the biggest trend globally is consciousness. People care. We want to buy products with a purpose. Therefore we have built a space based on story telling and to inspire people to get stuff they really need. Not just uncontrolled consumption. I believe the high end fashion stores in general are better on experience-based retail concepts, so we took inspiration from great classic stores such as Colette and Dover Street Market. Then we carefully fill it up, bit by bit, with the nicest selection of performance wear available.

I went to the store right before the opening earlier this week and I feel that you’re on a high international level. Do you agree?

— I would proudly say that we are, aesthetically and conceptually, if you look into sports retail in particular. If you take the great international fashion boutiques into consideration, we still have a lot of work to do. I mean, look at Antonia in Milan and Galeries Lafayette’s new space on Champs-Élysées. Let us aim for the stars. For now I am just happy to be seen as a very progressive sports store.

Which Nordic sportswear brands would you like to highlight?

— We love Nordic stuff in general and Swedish in particular. I would say that to put the beloved Swedish giants such as Fjällräven, Haglöfs, and Lundhags in this environment really made me feel something. Their loyalty to production, sustainability, and craftsmanship can be seen from the store entrance basically. I also believe Peter Häggström, founder of YMR TRACK CLUB, has made a great job with a local Swedish sustainable production in Sjuhäradsbygden. Big up to him. In general I would say that in terms of conscious production values, Sweden and the Nordics are on the highest international level.

With your background and the new retail landscape in mind, how does it feel to open a 1500+ sqm physical space? And will you ever have your own e-com?

— I feel that the retail landscape is more interesting then ever. People in general, entrepreneurs and big brands are all looking for the solution to fool the ”retail death”. This make the retail industry boom with new energy and visions. We’re obviously humble towards our square meters and rent levels. But by time customers will hopefully give value to stores who really put their hearts into giving them inspiration in their lives, says Nylander, continuing,

— Retail will change. Hopefully we are a part of that change, rather then just another store. We have some big launches coming up this fall winter season, so hopefully we can be seen as a dynamic destination presenting the industry’s most relevant and latest news. There will definitely be an e-com under one flag or another.